“Meet Del Close, the man with the keys to comedy. If only he can remember where he left them.”
That’s the tagline on the poster for the new documentary, For Madmen Only: The Stories of Del Close, which Utopia Distribution has acquired the rights to, with plans for a 2021 release.
The doc made its virtual premiere earlier this year at SXSW. Close fell out of The Second City, and with Charna Halpern, inspired a revolutionary generation of improv comedians in Chicago, including Close’s closest devotees to who moved to New York City and launched The Upright Citizens Brigade theatre there (and later in Hollywood). The doc includes never-before-seen interviews with Tina Fey and Amy Poehler, re-enactments, clips of Close in action, plus commentary from the likes of Bob Odenkirk, Jason Sudeikis, Jason Mantzoukas, Tim Meadows, and Adam McKay.
“Del Close understood that comedy is a way to process our darkest truths,” said director Heather Ross. “That comedy is not a distraction, but a survival instinct, a way to make sense of the cosmic joke of the universe. And who better to send those ideas into the world than the creative and adventurous team at Utopia.”
“Del Close was the genius who shaped improv comedy as we see it today and was a mentor for many of our favorite comedians and actors,” added Danielle DiGiacomo, Utopia’s Head of Content. “He was an unconventional soul and the comedy world is all the better for his brilliance. We are excited to introduce the world to Del Close and his place in comedy history.”